Fileforce Speeds Time-to-Market, Cuts Costs by 30% by Migrating to AWS


Based in Japan, Fileforce provides more than 300 domestic and global corporate customers with cloud file storage and document management services. Customers use the Fileforce cloud-based application to securely store and manage their business content in the same folder structure as their on-premises file storage solutions. Fileforce also offers detailed permission management and flexible access control by system administrators, as well as streaming access to files in the cloud. “Our application helps customers easily view, edit, and share files from wherever they are located, while staying compliant with relevant regulations” says Aram Sargsyan, chief executive officer of Fileforce.

To meet growing customer demand, Fileforce wanted to release software updates and features faster. That was difficult, however, because the company ran most of its Microsoft .NET and SQL Server–based application in an on-premises environment. Sargsyan says, “It would typically take us up to three months to get new features out, because we had to spend time procuring and provisioning servers and we didn’t have development automation in place.”

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We often have customers asking us for new features, and we can deliver those features in weeks instead of months because of the agility we get by running on AWS."

Aram Sargsyan
Chief Executive Officer, Fileforce

Migrating a Windows Application Environment to AWS

To overcome its challenges, Fileforce decided to move to the cloud. “We needed to focus on being a software company instead of spending all our time managing infrastructure,” says Sargsyan. After closely evaluating several cloud providers, Fileforce selected Amazon Web Services (AWS). “AWS had the best service offerings, and it demonstrated much more stability for Windows instances. Also, AWS offered a well-thought-out balance between higher-level managed services and low-level services, giving us control over every aspect of our application.”

Fileforce re-architected its application to take advantage of AWS and migrated its application environment from SQL Server to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for MySQL. The company then started developing with .NET Core, supporting its DevOps development model and enabling continuous integration and development on top of AWS. “.NET Core will make our software portable to other open source platforms such as Linux,” says Sargsyan. “Moving to Linux will be part of our modernization efforts. To be able to continuously meet each customer’s demand for new features, we are modernizing our platform toward more-detailed application modularization and containerization, which will enable us to be more efficient in deploying customizable services for each customer.” Fileforce developers use the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) as their primary developer tool.

Following the initial migration, Fileforce began running its application on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets for data storage. The company also relies on Elastic Load Balancing to automatically distribute incoming application traffic across Amazon EC2 instances.

Deploying New Features in Weeks Instead of Months

Taking advantage of the agility of AWS and using .NET Core, Fileforce has automated 90 percent of its code deployment and it can push code to production every week instead of once a month. “We often have customers asking us for new features, and we can deliver those features in weeks instead of months because of the agility we get by running on AWS,” says Sargsyan. “We can differentiate ourselves by deploying software updates and features much faster.”

As an example, Fileforce recently developed and deployed a new full-text search feature for its software, which enables customers to search the complete content of files in addition to file names. “To create a new feature like this, we previously would have spent at least a few months provisioning the compute capacity, creating the environment, and analyzing and extracting the text,” Sargsyan says. “Using AWS, it was very simple and took a few weeks. All we had to do was spin up the necessary Amazon EC2 instances and retrieve the files from Amazon S3 for re-indexing the content.”

Cutting Licensing Costs by 30%

Fileforce is reducing licensing and maintenance costs by running on AWS and not paying for on-premises Windows licensing. The company is putting this cost savings back into its development team. “We continue to move our source code to .NET Core, and soon we will move away from Windows to Linux, which will enable us to save 30 percent on licensing costs,” says Sargsyan. “That means we can serve 30 percent more customers while using the same resources.”

Additionally, Fileforce is helping its customers meet their compliance requirements. “Storing, managing, and sharing files and documents, especially if they contain sensitive information, requires continuous compliance not only with individual industry regulations, but also with a plethora of internal rules and regulations for each of our corporate clients,” says Sargsyan.

Fileforce plans to implement more AWS services as it continues optimizing its full development environment. “We couldn’t exist as the company we are today without AWS,” says Sargsyan. “Using AWS gives us the agility and scalability we need to grow our business while controlling costs.”

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About Fileforce

Fileforce provides cloud-based file storage and document management services used by more than 300 corporate customers worldwide. Based in Japan, Fileforce offers a cloud-based platform that customers can use to securely store and manage their business content in the same folder structure as their on-premises file storage solutions.

Benefits of AWS

  • Automates 90% of code deployment
  • Pushes code to production weekly instead of monthly
  • Delivers new software features in weeks instead of up to 3 months
  • Reduces licensing costs by 30%

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Secure and resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Launch applications when needed without upfront commitments.

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Amazon RDS for MySQL

MySQL is the world's most popular open source relational database and Amazon RDS makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale MySQL deployments in the cloud. With Amazon RDS, you can deploy scalable MySQL servers in minutes with cost-efficient and resizable hardware capacity.

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Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. This means customers of all sizes and industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for a range of use cases, such as websites, mobile applications, backup and restore, archive, enterprise applications, IoT devices, and big data analytics.

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Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2 instances, containers, IP addresses, and Lambda functions. It can handle the varying load of your application traffic in a single Availability Zone or across multiple Availability Zones.

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